+Todd Hess has the District in much better financial shape than Robert Slaby left it. The audit was positive and it’s likely that the Organizations representing both Certificated and Classified staff will be able to negotiate some kinds of raise. That hasn’t happened in about 3, maybe 4 years.
+School buses will be getting Wifi! First route in the plan is the Lockwood bus. Those students have such a long ride. Pretty exciting news!
+Coming soon, the beginning of a “hot button” topic in concept phase only at this time. A 4 day school week! It seems that a number of rural School Districts in Nevada are trying this out. Todd outlined some of the advantages earlier this month. Interesting idea! It’s bound to stir a lot of controversy! All stakeholders will have an opportunity to chime in soon.

By Sharon Snell


Storey County School Board Highlights for November and December 2018 and January 2019

The three school board meetings referenced above were held just before or after the holiday period. During the meetings, warrants were paid and approval was given to meeting minutes, a Progressive Discipline Plan, School Performance Plans, and the Quarterly Class Size Reduction Report.

Superintendent and Board member reports centered around congratulating the students, teachers and coaches for the successful football, cross country, and volleyball seasons, the Academic Olympics team, the holiday performances, as well as recognizing the work of music teacher Amanda Eddy and the students chosen for Honor Choir and Band.

Superintendent Todd Hess commended teacher Barb Burton for her 20 years of service and congratulated her on her retirement.

Todd reported that Al Berecky was the new Classified Association President and the Karen Staffen was the new Certificated Association President.

Todd credited the SC Volunteer Fire Department for a generous donation to both Gallagher and Hillside Schools allowing the purchase of sports equipment, a new flag, and a Blue Tooth.

He congratulated Caren Baum for her passing of the National Board Counselors Exam. Kristen Chandler was introduced as the new Business Manager. Todd told Board Members that due to a Pilot Program in which the District was participating he is looking forward to having wifi on school buses soon.

Todd reminded Board members that the Nevada Legislature would be meeting this year and their decisions could affect public school funding, especially in the rural Districts. Todd introduced the concept of a 4 day school week, something that several rural Districts in Nevada are trying. In general, this means classes are held Monday thru Thursday, but teachers would be available on Friday for credit recovery, tutoring, etc. He emphasized that this idea is only in the conceptual stage and much research, discussion, and feedback from all community stakeholders is necessary.

New Business Discussions/Actions In November Jim Sciarani gave a comprehensive report on the 2017-2018 school year audit completed by his company. He commended Todd Hess for the hard decisions made primarily regarding general programs, personnel adjustments, and salaries. The result as stated in the audit is that the District General Fund balance was very good, showing noticeable improvement. The audit was approved.

Shawn Marie Chapman, principal at VC High School reported on ACT test results given to last year’s Juniors. Starting in ’17-’18 the ACT is required of all Juniors. The current Senior class’s scores showed marked improvement over previous years. Test taking skills and specific Test Prep became discussion points in several of the Board meetings. Board members are interested in ways to help students with test preparation and also exploring grading policies, particularly at the high school.

Deny Dotson presented a request coming through UNR to hold the 41st International Collegiate Collegiate Mining Competition: Mackay Muckers in Virginia City March 20-23, 2019. The request involves the use of a SCSD facility that could seat up to 400 people for a banquet. The Board will consider the request after more information is available.

Jeff Nevin was elected to continue as Board President. The Clerk will be elected in February due to a tie between Gary Hames and Dawn Miller. Tom Thompson will serve on the 4th Ward Board and Gary Hames will serve on the Debt Management Committee. Board meeting dates for 2019 are posted on the District website. The next meeting will be held on February 13, 2019 at 5:30pm at the high school.

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